Hello from the Illinois Valley Golf Course!
This week was certainly a wet one, not a record setter but definitely a very wet week. Hole #1 was impassable on Friday with about 3 feet of water over the culvert and water completely surrounding the green. The Kerby ditch was also pouring out of both sides of the bridge on #3 and making a water feature down through the woods and making a temporary lake on the left fairway. The pond behind the green on #7 was overflowing on both sides of the pumphouse and recreated the old creek that used to flow past the front side of the #8 green, complete with what we used to call “jaws”, the ball eater mud pit. I wonder how many balls are embedded deep in the soil in front of that green.
Eugene sent me a picture of a small river on the left side of #9 fairway, not sure how it collected there but it was about 9 inches deep.
The weather had been very rainy early in the week but we saw a small opportunity of a hole in the rainclouds just between Wednesday evening and Friday morning in which to get out on the course, so Thursday afternoon we called everyone and a surprising 12 people showed up in the afternoon. We had James, Graham, Graham’s Dad James, John, Me, Jake, Kaelyn, Colby, Emily, Danny, Dustin and Scott with his granddaughter, 1 1/2 year old Dallas. Dustin zipped off to the clubhouse after hitting his tee shot on #4 and soon returned with his 2-year-old son, Hudson. These two little kids are pretty much the perfect little ones to bring out on the golf course (besides my own grandkids, of course), they hardly make any fuss and are content to quietly sit in the golf cart or have someone hold them while their parent or grandparent hits the ball. Hudson now enjoys hitting the ball and he has a great swing, as good as any beginner and better than most beginners.
On #12 we had six people on the green and putting for par, Danny was the only one to sink his for the first skin. On #14, there were a couple of pars and Colby was still sitting off the green, he patiently waited and finally took aim and chipped up, the ball kept rolling on the rough surface and made a beeline, hit the pin and dropped for a birdie and the second skin. On #15 we had six players with birdie putts. John sunk a long one for a birdie and figured that he won the skin. Nobody figured Jake to be in contention as we saw him hit his first shot from #15 teebox over onto #16 fairway only to then hit clear back across #15 again and land on #14 fairway. His next shot put him on the green and at a decent distance from the pin, this left him with a putt for birdie to tie John. He lined it up and it bounced across the bumpy green and dropped, tying with John and spoiling John’s skin. On #16 nobody got on the green for the KP but five players had par putts. Scottie got the only par for the skin. Dallas held out her arms to let me hold her while Scott putted and I felt so needed. I love being a grandpa and it’s rewarding to be a grandpa to other people’s grandkids too. On #17, I paid for Emily and Kaelyn to get in for KP and they both hit great shots but just barely came up short. Graham, Jake, Dustin and James put balls on the green with Graham winning closest, which I think had $25 in the pot, so a nice payday for him.
Finally on #18, I surprised myself by putting three shots together to join Jake and James on the green for birdie putts. Did I mention that the greens are very bumpy right now because it has been too soggy to run the roller on them. I bumped and bumbled along and missed my putt, as well as the comeback putt, John did the same, leaving Jake an opportunity for the last skin, he had an issue with the bumps as well, leaving only Scott, Colby and Danny to split the $130 pot.
We hung around afterward to help Scott spend his winnings at the clubhouse bar.
Last week I mentioned that we were to have a little weekend scramble tournament on Saturday because the weather looked to be so nice. Well, we didn’t expect to have 5 inches of rain during the week so we postponed until Sunday, but had to cancel for Sunday as well. Tracy’s friend, Chris and her husband Larry Trefethen, a long time resident of the Illinois Valley and with ancestors who lived out here for many years, invited us to accompany them to Applegate Golf Course. We met up and Troy came walking up from the parking lot and joined up with us. The course is pretty danged dry, apparently its great drainage coming from sitting on river gravel. Tracy got to try out her new 9 wood and we all had a nice time enjoying the partially sunny day, dressed in tee shirts and shorts, well, at least part of the day in tee shirts! Tracy got a par on #5 and Chris got one on #6. Larry chipped in a long shot for a birdie on #7 and I got a handful of pars. Dave Muswieck was a good host and set us up to drive new carts. We saw Donny, Randy and Rick over there too and they looked like they were having fun time and gave us some ribbing about our duffed shots as we played past them.